Simple steps to prevent diabetes troubles

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People with diabetes are taking a little better care of their health: New government research says more are checking their blood sugar every day — a key step for proper treatment.

For healthy blood sugar, work with a doctor to find your best diet plan, be more active and take meds as directed.

Stop smoking. Smoking single-handedly raises a diabetic’s risk for a variety of complications. It hurts your lungs, heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves; it raises bad cholesterol and blood pressure; and it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Examine your feet. Do it daily, and look for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling. High blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet, which results in loss of sensation.

Set blood pressure and cholesterol goals. Ideal blood pressure is still less than 120/80 mmHg. Cholesterol targets remain the same for most people.

Get your eyes and teeth checked regularly. Diabetes raises your risk of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma; it also may make you more prone to gum disease.

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